North Yorkshire 999 calls could be answered in Cornwall

PEOPLE dialling 999 to report a fire in North Yorkshire could find themselves talking to control room staff in the West Country.

Members of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority yesterday unanimously backed plans for control rooms in the county and in Cornwall to collaborate in handling calls at busy times, such as during flooding.

It claimed the move could make them more efficient and effective, with the 300-mile distance between the two reducing the likelihood of both areas having a major incident such as flooding at the same time.

However, it is understood the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has raised concerns, suggesting the lack of local knowledge could affect response times.

A report to the authority said both counties were large rural areas, which normally had low levels of calls and struggled to cope well with the volume of calls during major incidents.

It said when there are a high number of 999 calls, the arrangement would reduce the possibility of the service failing to provide a critical response to an incident.

It said a fully networked system could also mean that short-term staff absence in one control room could be offset by normal or additional staffing in the other.

The report said there would be reduced staffing levels in place from April 1 in North Yorkshire, with three staff leaving on voluntary redundancy and a further member of staff transferring to a wholetime firefighter post.

Coun Ken King, a York representative on the fire authority, said he rejected arguments that staff in Cornwall would be hampered by a lack of knowledge of North Yorkshire.

He said new technology would make a big difference. For example, when a 999 call came in to the Cornish control room from someone in North Yorkshire, staff would instantly be able to tell where the call was made from and also where the nearest available fire engine and crew were based.

He said while the scheme had been approved in principle, there were still details to be finalised and the changes would not take effect immediately.

Comments (15)

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9:16am Thu 14 Feb 13

anistasia says...

If you need help will it be like using a mobile phone .I had to phone 999 sometime ago let them know the situation they wanted to know what county I was in.I know it's a call centre but again going backwards.like the post office to post letter in York to go to an address in York it goes to Leeds .
If you need help will it be like using a mobile phone .I had to phone 999 sometime ago let them know the situation they wanted to know what county I was in.I know it's a call centre but again going backwards.like the post office to post letter in York to go to an address in York it goes to Leeds . anistasia

10:24am Thu 14 Feb 13

sheps lad says...

Owe arrr?
Owe arrr? sheps lad

10:24am Thu 14 Feb 13

sheps lad says...

Owe arrr?
Owe arrr? sheps lad

10:26am Thu 14 Feb 13

pedalling paul says...

Got that in stero Sheps Lad!

Some useful Cornish phraseology at www.cornwall-accomod
ation.co.uk/NWO/corn
lang.htm
Got that in stero Sheps Lad! Some useful Cornish phraseology at www.cornwall-accomod ation.co.uk/NWO/corn lang.htm pedalling paul

10:26am Thu 14 Feb 13

pedalling paul says...

Stereo even......
Stereo even...... pedalling paul

10:29am Thu 14 Feb 13

eeoodares says...

Walking back from the pub one night a car ploughed into the back of a parked car. There was a girl in the car and she was not badly hurt. The car never stopped to check on the girl, just pulled out and drove away at speed with its bumper hanging off. I rang 999 to tell them the what had happened and the car reg...They asked if the girl was injured, I said no and I was told...'WELL ITS NOT AN EMERGENCY THEN, RING AN 0845 NUMBER' Stats are improving for the Police because people like me will never ever call them again.
Walking back from the pub one night a car ploughed into the back of a parked car. There was a girl in the car and she was not badly hurt. The car never stopped to check on the girl, just pulled out and drove away at speed with its bumper hanging off. I rang 999 to tell them the what had happened and the car reg...They asked if the girl was injured, I said no and I was told...'WELL ITS NOT AN EMERGENCY THEN, RING AN 0845 NUMBER' Stats are improving for the Police because people like me will never ever call them again. eeoodares

10:46am Thu 14 Feb 13

sheps lad says...

pedalling paul wrote:
Got that in stero Sheps Lad!

Some useful Cornish phraseology at www.cornwall-accomod

ation.co.uk/NWO/corn

lang.htm
Bit of oldtimers tremble!
[quote][p][bold]pedalling paul [/bold] wrote: Got that in stero Sheps Lad! Some useful Cornish phraseology at www.cornwall-accomod ation.co.uk/NWO/corn lang.htm[/p][/quote]Bit of oldtimers tremble! sheps lad

10:58am Thu 14 Feb 13

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

Like Ken King, I doubt if there'll be much difference. When I rang 999 to report a serious incident at Bootham Bar the operator asked "Where is that?" "How d'you spell Bootham?" and "Is it a pub?".

Operators in Cornwall will be equally as ignorant as the ones we have in North Yorkshire.
Like Ken King, I doubt if there'll be much difference. When I rang 999 to report a serious incident at Bootham Bar the operator asked "Where is that?" "How d'you spell Bootham?" and "Is it a pub?". Operators in Cornwall will be equally as ignorant as the ones we have in North Yorkshire. Ignatius Lumpopo

1:22pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Pete the Brickie says...

It can only be an improvement on the non emergency number, judging by the response you get I'd say the call centre was based on Mars, the call handlers don't understand Earth languages and any assistance they describe as "on their way" has to travel from Venus via Pluto using the Park and Ride.
It can only be an improvement on the non emergency number, judging by the response you get I'd say the call centre was based on Mars, the call handlers don't understand Earth languages and any assistance they describe as "on their way" has to travel from Venus via Pluto using the Park and Ride. Pete the Brickie

4:00pm Thu 14 Feb 13

You're_all_idiots says...

Ignatius Lumpopo wrote:
Like Ken King, I doubt if there'll be much difference. When I rang 999 to report a serious incident at Bootham Bar the operator asked "Where is that?" "How d'you spell Bootham?" and "Is it a pub?". Operators in Cornwall will be equally as ignorant as the ones we have in North Yorkshire.
Asking questions to establish the location of an incident is their job!! Not knowing where Bootham Bar is does not demonstrate ignorance. Even if every individual local authority had its own 999 call centre, would you really expect them to know every single street or landmark in that area??
[quote][p][bold]Ignatius Lumpopo[/bold] wrote: Like Ken King, I doubt if there'll be much difference. When I rang 999 to report a serious incident at Bootham Bar the operator asked "Where is that?" "How d'you spell Bootham?" and "Is it a pub?". Operators in Cornwall will be equally as ignorant as the ones we have in North Yorkshire.[/p][/quote]Asking questions to establish the location of an incident is their job!! Not knowing where Bootham Bar is does not demonstrate ignorance. Even if every individual local authority had its own 999 call centre, would you really expect them to know every single street or landmark in that area?? You're_all_idiots

4:43pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Mulgrave says...

I hope they do better than when I made a call to the non emergency police number a few years ago, when I had clearly said Strensall the query came back, 'Strepsil?', and that was just to Northallerton.
I hope they do better than when I made a call to the non emergency police number a few years ago, when I had clearly said Strensall the query came back, 'Strepsil?', and that was just to Northallerton. Mulgrave

5:27pm Thu 14 Feb 13

AMAJET says...

Just wondering how an articke about the fire brigade ended up in a mud slinging match at the police again? Please read the article properly before you pass comment, it saves embarrassment.
Just wondering how an articke about the fire brigade ended up in a mud slinging match at the police again? Please read the article properly before you pass comment, it saves embarrassment. AMAJET

6:24pm Thu 14 Feb 13

eeoodares says...

AMAJET wrote:
Just wondering how an articke about the fire brigade ended up in a mud slinging match at the police again? Please read the article properly before you pass comment, it saves embarrassment.
I do not think that anybody is slinging mud at the Police. The fact is that more people use 999 to call the Police than say the Fire brigade or Coastguard, it is this experience that they are discussing. Should the Fire brigades call handling standards drop to those of the Police then there will be consequences.
[quote][p][bold]AMAJET[/bold] wrote: Just wondering how an articke about the fire brigade ended up in a mud slinging match at the police again? Please read the article properly before you pass comment, it saves embarrassment.[/p][/quote]I do not think that anybody is slinging mud at the Police. The fact is that more people use 999 to call the Police than say the Fire brigade or Coastguard, it is this experience that they are discussing. Should the Fire brigades call handling standards drop to those of the Police then there will be consequences. eeoodares

8:06pm Thu 14 Feb 13

Paul Meoff says...

This is terrible. If the message has to get all the way to Cornwall by phone how long is that going to take? It could add microseconds to the response time.
This is terrible. If the message has to get all the way to Cornwall by phone how long is that going to take? It could add microseconds to the response time. Paul Meoff

11:40pm Thu 14 Feb 13

blackadder-york says...

Well, the public report is pretty clear in explaining that during very busy periods, rather than emergency calls waiting to be answered in a queue, they would be taken by Cornwall fire control staff who pass the calls immediately onto local North Yorkshire fire crews. I'm content to give them the benefit of the doubt if it helps reduce response times when the local control room is overwhelmed. We still have a great local fire service thankfully, who incidentally did a fine job in the recent floods even though a lot of calls were apparently handled by neighbouring fire services when it got very busy. If this arrangement keeps the local control centre, but gives added support when needed then maybe it's not quite the end of the world.
Well, the public report is pretty clear in explaining that during very busy periods, rather than emergency calls waiting to be answered in a queue, they would be taken by Cornwall fire control staff who pass the calls immediately onto local North Yorkshire fire crews. I'm content to give them the benefit of the doubt if it helps reduce response times when the local control room is overwhelmed. We still have a great local fire service thankfully, who incidentally did a fine job in the recent floods even though a lot of calls were apparently handled by neighbouring fire services when it got very busy. If this arrangement keeps the local control centre, but gives added support when needed then maybe it's not quite the end of the world. blackadder-york

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